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Three Guy Off The Scale Barley Wine - Dark Horse Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Three Guy Off The Scale Barley WineThree Guy Off The Scale Barley Wine

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105 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 105
Hads: 166
Avg: 4.04
pDev: 12.38%
Wants: 223
Gots: 19 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  15.00% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: scottoale on 01-25-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 105 | Hads: 166
Photo of Roeters
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass

pours a very dark reddish color with a thin tan head with a light lacing

dark syrup aroma with mild alcohol and a light hops aroma

Front dark syrup, mix of molasses with a little maple syrup. Sweet middle with some malt bitterness, finish strong alcohol finish

light carbonation with an alcohol burn through the back of the mouth

very enjoyable in moderation because of the high APV

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Photo of russpowell
4.06/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to czosch75 for this one, thanks Clint!! Hate those wax sealed caps!!

Pours orange/copper with 1 finger of tan head. Zero lacing & head retention

S: Dark fruits & not much else

T: Rich dark fruit, tangerines, a bit of figs & dryness up front. Leafy hops, dryness, a touch cherry stones, & a kiss of booze infused figs & apricots. Finishes warming with figs & plums

MF: Minimal carbonation & chewyness, skews fruitty & English IMO

Drinks really easy, seems more English than American as Barley wines go IMO. The ABV is completely masked, a really good night cap

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Photo of gmfessen
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My bottle says "3 guy off the scale barley wine", not "old ale"... hope this is one in the same.

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass, beer is a deep amber - almost crimson with virtually no head, just a slight ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. Very pretty. The smell is a complex bouquet of sweet malt, dark fruits and hints of alcohol. There is no apparent hops. The flavor is much of the same, with the sweet dark fruits exploding on the palate - raisins, dates, figs all followed by a warming alcohol bite for a finish. A second taste reveals some citrus notes that were previously unnoticed - grapefruit stands out in my mind. The mouthfeel is full bodied with minimal carbonation and a slight mouth burning alcohol finish. Drinkability is good from the standpoint that I want to drink more, but is limited due to the high ABV. Definitely a sipper, not a quaffer.

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Photo of Gehrig
4.37/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Lush caramel brown-ruby body with a thin tan patch of foam that quickly clears the way. Dense malty aroma filled with molasses, raisin, fig and plum--an excellent barleywine smell. More malty than hopped, the fruit emerges more strongly in the taste--fig, raisin, a bit of citrus--intertwined with molasses. 3 Guys has a good sweet-and-sour interchange that's easy to like.

The mouthfeel is a bit more difficult for me to judge, not because I don't like it but rather because I'm not sure how much I like it. It is here that I am reminded how much I enjoy a strong, dense hopped mouthfeel and with that 3 Guys would have complemented the splendid malt component with a bit more hops. They're there, but to me more hops would take this barleywine from very good to outstanding. As it is, coating the tongue with its dense malt is certainly a good thing and quite enjoyable. I may be nitpicking, and others may find this to be just right. Nonetheless, I think 4.5 for the mouthfeel is just right. The drinkability is rated as such not because it's difficult to enjoy, but rather the very high ABV (12.2%) certainly catches up in the second half of this very good beer.

One of the better beers I've had lately without question, 3 Guys is a very good barleywine--rich, smooth, somewhat complex, and very strong. Dark Horse has become one of my very favorite breweries, yet again producing an impressive beer that is more than worth stocking up on.

Terrific stuff.

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Photo of largadeer
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Dark amber with great clarity. Not much head retention, but at 15% ABV that comes as no surprise.

Smell: Incredibly intense and sweet - dates, ripe figs, prunes and caramel, though surprisingly no alcohol.

Taste & mouthfeel: Just as the nose suggests, this is sweet and fruity to the extreme. Flavors of brown sugar meet fruity notes of date and fig with an undercurrent of molasses. Impressive smoothness for such a big beer - there's no heat and no astringency. The finish remains fairly sweet, though it doesn't linger long and isn't cloying.

Drinkability: I doubt I could drink a bottle of this by myself. Shared amongst 3 people it took about 45 minutes to drink 12 oz.

Notes: Got this one as an extra from bgramer. Thank you!

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is definitely one of the malty barley-wines, versus those that carry a lot of hop heft. Appearance is a bit of a murky brown with some scummy tan head. Aroma is very malty with some mercaptan defect and flavor is that of a very bread-y, malty, liqueur. As I drank it, the mercaptan aroma I got built in my mouth, which was unflattering. Mouthfeel is dry and alcohol-astringent, and while my throat and chest are not my mouth, I'll mention in this part of the review that they burned a bit with each sip.

A little more cereal-y than I would've liked, and there is no hiding the alcohol in this one. If it were more liquor-like, I think I would enjoy it, or if it were hoppier, I think I would like it to. However it's sort of a bread-dough-bomb, and that I'm not a huge fan of.

I bought this bottle at Discount Liquor in Milwaukee.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.37/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 20oz imperial pint. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours a cloudy rusty-brown/blood orange color. Capping this is a bubbly, light khaki colored wafer of foam that leaves some random spots of lace.

S: Huge sweet caramel-y malt aroma. Also noticed were scents of tobacco, caramel apples, raisin, and hot boozy alcohol.

T: See above. Sweet, juicy, and rich homemade caramel flavors with some fruity hops, raisin, molassas, the aforementioned apple, tobacco, and alcohol flavors.

M: Very sweet, sticky, and smooth through most of the mouthfeel. Towards the end of the middle and through the finish does this wait to dry out and begin to get boozy.

D: Considering that this baby is packing 15% I thought the drinkability was excellent. Mind you, I don't think I could do much more than one in a session, but that one sure goes down easy!

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Photo of Lothore
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a nice deep amber with a very small head that dissapates quickly. Crystal clear.

S- I could smell it from the second the cap popped (granted it took quite a while to get the cap off with all the wax!). My first impression is ... raspberries? deep brown sugar notes, dark fruits, alcohol, underlying sweetness.

T- This one is really a kick in the teeth in a good way. Starts off with brown sugar and roasted malt rounded out by sweet fruits, maybe subtle berry flavors. Sugar and booze on the tongue going down with a good dose of alcohol warming.

M- Thick and sticky with ample carbonation.

D- This is an excellent barleywine. I really wish I had another to lay down for a year or two. You definitely feel the 12 percent in this one. The prominent alcohol makes it a sipper but it forces you to savor it which I enjoy. Definitely something dark horse should be proud of.

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Photo of SaucyA
4.37/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Rich, dark brown body with a quickly dissapating off white head. Still has a nice layer of foam til the last sip. Slight lacing down my giant snifter. Looks like a damned tasty malty beast.

S - Dark red fruits, sundried fruits, alcohol, brandy, yeast. Underlying caramel malts dance about.

T - This is such a wonderful tasting brew. Tons of toffee, caramel, alcohol, nicely hopped finish. Reminds me slightly of 4th Dementia but actually with more complexities.

M - Creamy, thick body, with ample carbonation.

D - Big ol' ABV on this puppy, but I can't stop knocking these back. I'm on my third since the release and they keep getting better.

Notes: Really glad they released 3 Guys this year. There were talks of it not making it to shelves, and quite frankly, it was a lot of work getting any sort of substantial amount of it. The work of the brewers paid off with a fantastic beer... just not a whole lot of it.

Another note: The wax they use on these bottles is pretty hardcore. Be prepared.

Third note: This has a really ugly label. Seriously, CrookedMike, what the hell is it?

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Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
4.85/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served ice cold out of a chiller @ Lunar brewing, while waiting for a guitar preformance from the owner of Lagunitas.

A - Dark mahagony with two fingers of off white head, that laces with good retention.

S - Very nice and sweet, vanilla, mellon, brown sugar, very rich and bourbon-y.

T - Starts out with lots of cherry and fig fruitiness. Tannin like oakyness and a very nice driness that balences out the dark desertlike malty sweetness in the midpalate. The hops and alcohol have a perfect balence that dries out the finish, and leaves a medicinal quality that does not seem out of place at all in the beer. Cherry and oak linger forever in the finish.

M - Syrupy, thick, silky, perfect.

D - This is one of those beers I would love to drink with any wine drinker who has yet to discover what craft beer is. A crowning acheavement for American brewers. Balenced, focused, complex, just a great beer!

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Photo of Blakaeris
4.72/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours cloudy caramel brown with a slight head that quickly becomes a thin ring.

Aroma is sweet dark fruit soaked in alcohol, brown sugar, slightly woody, with juicy citrus hop.

Taste is sweet candied sugar up front. Tons of caramel malt and brown sugar. Amazingly smooth. Resinous citrus hop and a pleasant dry vanilla oakiness. Finish is smooth citrus and warming alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Smooth and slick.

This is a tasty treat. The flavor is quite smooth and understated. I expected a monstrously big beer for the ABV, but this is so smooth and dangerously drinkable it's scary.

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Photo of bashiba
4.59/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice dark brown with some light ruby highlights, a light thin ring of head.

Huge smell, sweet molasses, brown sugar and raisons to go along with a touch of cedar and oak.

Flavor is surprisingly smooth after the huge smell. A nice bit of toffee, molasses, chocolate, and dark fruits at first then a huge blast of juniper hops takes over leaving a long lasting lingering bit of pine and a touch of sweet alcohol.

Mouthfeel is thick and oily with a nice bit of carbonation zip and a ton of warmth.

Drinkablity is scary for a beer this big! The Dark horse site lists this beer at 15%, its almost hard to believe as easy as it is to drink.

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Photo of kzoobrew
3.28/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up bottle at Tiffany's in Kalamazoo. UPC on bottle matched up to this years run. Dark Horse site showing this years offering at 15%.

Pours a red brown color with fluffy white head.

Smells of malts yeast and fruit.

This is a big flavor and definitely alot to handle. Thick and sweet. The alcohol is definitely warming. Very bready and yeasty. Carmel malt. Slight fruit behind all the other big flavors.

Everything about this brew is big. Mouthfeel is no exception. Big thick and chewy. Not at all harsh just alot to take in.

This is a one and done brew. If I pick up another bottle, it will be sitting down for a couple years. This brew may be at its best given time to rest. Will re-review this one when I can find a vintage.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.64/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2005 release, Sampled December 2007
A somewhat vigorous pour only produces a scant, quarter-finger thick, tan colored head. The beer is a brilliantly clear, cherry red color when held up to the light, but otherwise is a very red tinged, deep amber color. Aromas of aged hops and aged malts produces aromatic components of berries, caramelized citrus notes, light sherry, concentrated, caramelized malt and a super malt character that is almost umami like in its richness. Heady alcohol aromatics provide similarities to Brandy and even Scotch aromas.

Sweet, thick and extremely chewy, there is a ton of residual malt sugar left in this brew. The mix is rich enough that the sweetness is not cloying, but man is this a viscous brew. Toasted malt flavors, richly caramelized sugars, richly nutty dark malts and a warming alcohol note in the finish. This is a huge beer, it even tastes a bit like not quite diluted malt extract. I am glad this is only a 12oz bottle, but I could easily see this being one of the few beers deserving of a nip bottle sized serving. Fruit flavors of raisins and prunes combine with the alcohol to give this beer a sort of brandy-like finish. But I keep coming back to how thick and viscous this brew is; it sits on my tongue like it weighs a ton, and it almost seems like I have to work to cram, even a small sip down my throat. Underneath all of this malt, the beer is actually quite hoppy too; it plays a secondary role here and can sometimes get lost in the malt, but I do taste a herbal, sweet citrus character that is clearly hop derived.

While this beer is tasty and complex, it is just a bit too much. The amount of residual, unfermented sugars left in this beer is crazy; it is just so thick and so viscous that it makes it hard to even swallow. This beer is not bad, but it just ends up being too much. Perhaps another ten or twenty years of age would make this more drinkable.

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Photo of CharlesDarwin
4.07/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Originally reviewed August 23, 2007. Some mysterious older vintage. Possibly a 2001. Aroma erupts with caramel, raisin toast and older brown sugars. Light oxidation somehow lends maturity, then lean on some sweet fruit esters for a complex bouquet in the nose. Pours a clouded amber with tan fringes. No head. Flavor is a rich, dense fruit creamed malt with astounding richness and full flavor. Brandy, fruit compotes, more raisin bread, and a smack of Indian Curry spices. Rich and toasty. Still virile as an older bottle, with some heat, but really for 15% it’s damn near camouflage. Tingles the nostrils a little. Nice leafy noble hop smack and nips of light chocolate out the backdoor. Awesome.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It's a pretty good beer that suffers from schizophrenia. A new, Old Ale. All the ingredients are well-represented, however in disjointed fashion -- so you know that this beer would be great in a year or two. The beer pours with a mildly hazy rusty brown color with great head formation and staying power. The malt profile picks up a lot of deep, dehydrated fruits (figs, prunes, plumbs, dates, and raisons) and are quite evident in the nose, flavor, and finish. An accompanying syrup-sweet maltiness forms a nice pillow for the fruits and hop character to come. The hop profile remains citrusy and pine throughout the aroma and flavor, but contribute a lot of balancing bitterness and then some. The hop dryness kicks in with the finish and makes the beer a bit difficult to consume. Alcohol strength is high, leaving the beer quite fusal and harsh -- finishing a lot like caugh syrup. These flavors are rough edges will smoothen and mellow, but for now I should have kept it in the cellar. Thanks Clvand0

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Photo of BlindPig
4.04/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured kind of hard and got a very thing tan head on a muddy lighter brown body.
S- Big citrus hops, alcohol that gives the nose a little zing, big caramel, pine, toast, cherries, and maybe some other fruits.
T- Huge alcohol flavor, blended with big hops, really nice big bitterness, cherries, pine, well it pretty much follows the aroma but the alcohol really does come in strong. Maybe a little to rough. The tongue is left numb with a assault of hops and alcohol. It gets very hot in back of throat. Other flavor do make it through but I would have to say they could of done a better job on hiding the alcohol.
M- Full body with low carbonation for a smooth drink. Almost oily.
D- I think it is tasty but the alcohol does get a little strong. Other than that I think it is a great beer. Would love to try one that's about 10%. Just since the alcohol can get overwhelming I have to give it a 3.5 for drinkability.

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Photo of beckje01
2.95/5  rDev -27%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Starts with a very fruity smell great nose really. Lots of heat when drinking this one, no age to find on the bottle. But ok balance, the rest tastes like its good but hard to tell with all the booze coming through somewhat overwhelming. My guess is this beer is still to hot and needs more time to age. I'm just not sure how old this bottle is this could be a very nice beer in a few years.

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Photo of aforbes10
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a re-review for me. The first time i reviewed this beer was back when i was getting into barleywines but not quite there yet. Still, i remember enjoying this beer but being a bit overwhelmed....so now that its out again, i thought i'd give it another try.

Pours red/brown and dark like a deep mahogany. Nice soft white head on it. Looks like a pillow. Odor is strong with very sweet maltiness. Hops also pronounced on the nose. Taste is super good. Sweet, rich molasses flavor. dry alcohol. Fruity to an extent....old strawberries and cherries. Sweetness might be a bit cloying and the whole thing is a bit unbalanced, oweing to it being such a new beer...but hey, its still tasty. Thick and rich and becomes hard to drink towards the end of the bottle as it warms and the bitterness grows, but that's ok. I bought a bottle to age for a year or so too so i'll probably hit this one up with a 3rd review one day.

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Photo of Shovelbum
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle cellared 1+ year.

Pours a faint trace of a head over a glowing, fairly clear, crimson body. Tiny bubbles drift to the surface. Aromas of cherries and dark berries, caramel, and a hint of spicy hops. Flavors of sweet caramel and dark fruit up front. Develops a more medicinal/ cough syrup-like character toward the finish. Hop spiciness provides balance, but is in not way overwhelming in that tongue-numbing of some barleywines. The alchol is noticable, but not to its full extent. Sweet and smooth. Full bodied.

I’ve never tried this ale fresh, as I stuck this single away in my cellar last year. I’d be interested to see if the same medicinal character is present in younger versions of this beer. I didn’t so much mind that cpart of the flavor, but wasn’t exactly enamored with it either. All in all a nice, warming, cold weather sipping beer.

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Photo of Imstillthegman
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brownish-orange color with a tan coating of bubbles for a head. Light, spotty lacing is speckled on the glass. Nothing eyecatching in the looks department.

The smell coming out of the bottle is totally different from the one coming out of the glass. In the bottle, it had a sweet fruity aroma...which I thought was odd for an American barley wine. In the glass the smell is much maltier. Caramel, sweet bread, citrus and alcohol.

The taste is stronger on the alcohol, which at over 12% can be expected. Bready malts, sweet caramel, lemon zest, and some other sweet fruit I just can't peg (berries?) wrapped in the alcohol.

Mouthfeel is a creamy medium with average carbonation. Alcohol tingle remains on the back of the tongue. Not sure if it needed more aging, but it was a bit harsh overall. I would not hesitate to aquire another bottle of this, but I would leave it in the cellar longer next time.

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3.77/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Body is a hazy copper color, slightly reddish when held up to light. Head is a tan quick fading inch of fuzz. A fiery spicey fruit filled nose, Sweet creamy notes with maybe a bit of malt. Sweet alchol syrupy fuzzieness enters the mouth, this is folowed by a slightly soured mouthfeel. The finish is a soft malty hue. Alchol really warms the belly very well. As this one warms it gets smoother and better balanced. Mouthfeel is very thick and lingering. It only takes one of these to do the job. Nice feel but watch out!

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.28/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

After busting out my Swiss army knife to scrape off the dark red wax, this old ale introduces itself with a fuzzy dim maroon countenance topped with a handsome fluffy ivory dense bowl shaped cover that paints the glass with with a coating of foam.

Tart lemon meets a pancake malt nose with a twist of orange. Fruity sugesstions overall.

First swigs: Fruity melifluous mix of Christmas fruitcake. Seems to be a take it or leave it blend. Some lemon cake and a crispy pastry.

Feel is medium bodied dry that leaves a citrus linger.

Last swigs: Reviewed from 2 bottles snaggled-toothed at Three Floyds Dark Lord 4/29 and reviewed recently. Seems to miss the mark by a hair. Solid A for effort but didn't do it.

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Photo of mentor
4.19/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Wax-dipped bottle provided by trbeer during my most recent visit to Michigan (December 2005). Thanks buddy! Pours a one finger light brown head over a cloudy brown-orange liquid. Smells like strawberries during the pour. To the nose it's caramel, soured alcohol, fruity sweet. Light-colored raisins. A bit of dried hay.

Tastes sherry oxidized caramel, alcohol burn and sweet fruity esters. Nice caramel aftertaste held on the tongue by the thick mouthfeel. The caramel fights a dry alcohol that tries to roughen the back of the tongue. Touch of oranges. Creamy thick mouthfeel and modest carbonation. Enjoyable, although I suspect that aging would greatly decrease the alcohol presence and improve the balance of the beer to my personal preferences. 6 months in my cellar wasn't enough.

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Photo of IrishRedRock
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. wax capped bottle. Now I usually don't have issues with these wax dipped bottles, but this one was a pain in the ass to remove the cap from. Anywho, we're in. Pours without very much noticeable carbonation, a glowing ruby color. Nose of sweet, chocolate covered cherries...and booze. It doesn't hide. And then you taste it, and it's still not hiding. Sweet malt, plum skins dominate, riding the wave of alcohol booziness into the bittersweet, chewy finish. Lingering plum-cherry sweetness on the palate. Mild carbonation. A bit two-dimensional to go head to head with the best of American barleywines as it pales in complexity to some, but nonetheless a good enough nightcap. Weee....I'm sleeepy...

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Three Guy Off The Scale Barley Wine from Dark Horse Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 105 ratings.